Till Death Do Us Part: Review of [REC]³: GENESIS (Plaza, 2012)

 

The Spanish horror flick Rec 3: Genesis (or [REC]³: Genesis, to be exact) knows what it is, and what it is, is shlock. And so much the better for it.

At one hour and 20 minutes in length, the lean plot moves along swiftly, ’cause ya’ll git it and just want to see the zombies unleashed. A wedding reception up in an isolated villa begins to unravel when an uncle–his hand bitten by a mysterious mut–pukes blood and the authorities quarantine the joint. The uncle begins to jerk and gesticulate horridly, like Maddie Ziegler in the Sia video (minus the cart wheels), and rips into the fleshy gullet of an auntie. And the disease spreads.

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Nothing truly innovative is done in this zombieland, and the plot is structured around a simple (and somewhat humdrum) reversal–first the young hubby’s out to find the bride (he’s decked out in medieval armor, a gag that doesn’t really go anywhere), and they’re split up again, and she grabs a chainsaw and sets out to save him this time. Still, it’s all done ironically with meaty and sinewy gore that’s (appropriately) halfway comical and halfway hideous–which is to say, grotesque in the proper sense.

But more importantly, a nice premise is (re-)introduced into the (sub-)genre: religion. Perhaps a regional twist. Who knows why–and who really cares?–but it turns out that the zombies are possessed by demons and dead souls, and the sound of a priest’s voice freezes them where they stand. But not every zombie; some, we learn, are hearing impaired, and one of our two heroes–the bride or the groom–is bitten. We wrap with a gloriously over-the-top death scene that reinforces the power of twooo wuv.

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